Act 1 Scene 6

Interior Designers


It is very hot today. Our van goes to Khayelitsha first to get Mama Darkie and to see the crèche there. In Langrug, WaSH Biz team must separate from us because they need to discuss a constitution and the Saving Group’s goals. We have a much different objective so we move to the storage bunaglow to accomplish our own goals.


Our group decided to separate from WaSH-Biz to get more done for both of our projects. Yesterday, Health Promoters, a local NGO that focuses on health education, held a workshop in Langrug, so we are interested to hear feedback and see how it went. Today, our goal is to discuss ideas for redesigning the facility in an effort to make it more educational and appealing with the community members working with WaSH Services.

Cast of Characters


Learning from Khayelitsha

Before we get to Langrug, the van goes to Khayelitsha, another informal settlement, to get Mama Darkie, a mama from the Savings Group in Khayelitsha. She is working with the WaSH-Biz group today to help establish the Savings Group in Langrug. While there, we meet a man who works on the gardening and construction of the crèche. He is a jack-of-all-trades, doing work for the Khayelitsha community, as well as being an actor, director, and more. He gives us a tour and shows us the compost pile and the garden he maintains. He shows the building where there is construction for a kitchen. He tells the groups a lot about his travels and his philosophies on giving back to the community: everything from the garden is sold for free; he buys the seeds himself. He really wants it to be a welcoming area where anyone can come. He aims to demonstrate a welcoming and open attitude in hopes of influencing positivity in the community. He is very inspiring and we appreciate all the advice he gives. There are 2 age groups of children at this crèche: 1-4 year olds, and 5-6 year olds who are preparing for primary school. They wave to us as we walk by.

On the ride to Langrug, Heather is able to talk to Mama Darkie and gain information about her crèche and aftercare programme. She is a member of a Savings Groups in Khaylitsha, so both teams learn a lot for their projects. Mama Darkie explains that her crèche is open all day, but the aftercare programme does not start until 4:30pm, when the crèche closes. The aftercare programme is 25 Rand to 50 Rand per month, but provides a variety of services including homework help and exciting games. Since Mama Darkie is scheduled to work with the WaSH Biz group, we do not get much further information once we are in Langrug.



Health Promoters Workshop

In Langrug, construction has surpassed the WaSH Facility and storage but the concrete driveway leading up to the facility is still muddy. There is still no water running at the facility. The community members are at the facility when we get there so we are able to get started rather quickly. With everyone still together, Danielle asks about how the Health Promoters workshop went on Wednesday. The women are rather hesitant at first to speak. Danielle asks the group where Kholeka is because Danielle had asked her to take attendance at the workshop. Kholeka comes and is able to write down the names of the eight people who attended. The women say the Health Promoters workshop was helpful and they were happy it only took an hour and a half because people were more willing to attend than if it was longer. They express the need for someone more fluent in Xhosa. It appears that George was trying to translate but that the message was not always clear. The groups soon break up and Siyanda, her neighbor’s 14-month-old daughter, Mama Thandi, and Nomahala join our group in the storage bungalow together. Nobuthembu joins a little while later.

Our group asks the women what they learned at the Health Promoters workshop and Siyanda shares that it was a diabetes module. She tells us about the symptoms that signal diabetes, such as extreme, constant thirst, constant lethargy (always being tired is what she says), weight loss, and a wound that is slow to heal. She says one woman in the workshop is now eager to test for diabetes. Siyanda tells us that they learned the differences between Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes. It is clear that Siyanda either takes a liking to learning about health, that her English is advanced and she is easily able to comprehend the health teachings, or both. Danielle asks if she believes everyone was able to understand the health teachings or if she thought the language barrier was an issue. Siyanda believes everyone was able to learn much from the workshop. Danielle asks who from Health Promoters came and the group said George, Harold, and another person. Danielle asks if there is anything that could have been improved and Siyanda says they needed paper and writing utensils. Our team agrees to leave some supplies for the next workshop. The group thanks everyone for their participation in the workshop and asks for them to keep up the great work and dedication. We tell them we will email Health Promoters and relay their thoughts.



Designing the Facility

The group then suggests a plan for the day. We hope to focus on redecorating the inside of the facility to make it more appealing. We suggest that everyone repaints the facility with various colors and that we add in health posters and signs. The team and the co-researchers work together to brainstorm which color paints for the different bathroom and sink areas. The co-researchers give a lot of specific, helpful input, such as deciding which kind of clock they would like in the facility to help children learn to tell time. Mama Thandi also mentions that 2 latches for the showers need to be bought to secure the showers. We need to talk to Scott about this because we’ve only discussed painting and re-decorating with him. The group asks the women if for signs we should paint right on the building and walls to avoid theft of the signs. The women do not think this would be a problem if they were secured.

We then want to break up into smaller groups so some people could go to the store and pick out paints and other supplies while the others focus on programmes and games. However, WaSH-Biz is not ready to go and Mama Darkie needs to be back in Cape Town for a certain time so we decide to go back to our meeting setting and all discuss programmes and games for the aftercare. We show a packet of playground and game ideas that Mollie and Nathan made. The women particularly like the walking beams, tire rocking horse, and hopscotch. For indoor games, they like everything but specified the blocks, beanbags, and books.

Team Bonding

Because we were unable to go to the store, our team is able to take more time to bond with the women. They show us pictures of their children and grandchildren, and talk about their families. We show pictures of our families and friends. The women particularly like seeing pictures of our significant others and make funny comments about their age and how cute they are. Nomahala goes to the nearby spaza shop and brings back ice pops for everyone, a great break on a hot day.

Ice Pops

Ice Pops



It was nice not to struggle with social dynamics within the community as much today. It was very uplifting to hear about the success of the Health Promoters Workshop and hear how excited the women are to start getting more information. Knowing so much was accomplished without us present pushes us to work even harder for the community to extend these successes even more. The co-researchers were extremely helpful and open about their ideas for designs within the facility’s social space. So much more gets accomplished when everyone is participative and open. It was nice to have more bonding time as well, as it really brought our working team together.

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